Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:
Submission SEM-16-002 asserts that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws with respect to the Monterrey VI Aqueduct project. The Submitter, a group in Mexico which has requested confidentiality, asserts that the transfer of water by pipeline from the Panuco River in the Mexican state of Veracruz to the City of Monterrey in the Mexican state of Nuevo León, will have adverse environmental impacts in Nuevo León, Veracruz, and two other states between these two locations, Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí. The Submitter contends that this transfer is illegal under international law. The Submitter also asserts that the removal of water from the Panuco River, which Submitter characterizes as one of the most polluted basins in Mexico, will have adverse impacts on the indigenous communities that rely on the river as an important natural resource. Additionally, the Submitter contends that the Monterrey area does not need this water as it will have sufficient water quantity until 2050, if other water supply and conservation measures are implemented.
The Submitter asserts that the Mexican federal government and the Nuevo León state government are failing to effectively enforce the Federal Environmental Liability Act (Ley Federal de Responsabilidad Ambiental), the Mexican Constitution, the 1992 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, among others.
Summary of the response provided by the Party:
In its response, Mexico contends that the provisions cited by the Submitter do not qualify as environmental law, in part because they constitute a mere statement of principles according to which, in the conduct of environmental policy, the right of indigenous communities to participate in the protection, preservation, use, and sustainable harvest of natural resources and the protection and use of biodiversity must be taken in to account.
Mexico concludes by stating that in addition, the Monterrey VI project is still at the design and planning stages, and it is therefore impossible to identify any concrete juridical acts from which a failure to effectively enforce the environmental law may derive. The Party contends that in any event, the sole act that could qualify for review under the SEM mechanism is the approval granted by the National Water Commission to Servicios de Agua y Drenaje de Monterrey, about which the Secretariat did not request a response.
Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:
Federal Environmental Liability Act (Ley Federal de Responsabilidad Ambiental)
1992 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
Movimiento Ambientalista del Noreste
The Secretariat received a submission and began a preliminary analysis of it under the guidelines.
Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 11/07/2016
Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 13/07/2016
Under guideline 3.10, the Secretariat requested the submitter(s) to correct minor errors of form.
The Submitters corrected the minor errors of form.
The Secretariat notified the submitter(s) that the submission did not meet all of the Article 14(1) criteria and that the submitter(s) had 60 days to provide the Secretariat with a revised submission that conforms with Article 14(1).
Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 14 (1) authored by Secretariat on 22/08/2016
The Secretariat received a revised submission and began to analyze it.
Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 26/09/2016
Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 28/09/2016
The Secretariat determined that the submission met the criteria of Article 14(1) and requested a response from the concerned government Party in accordance with Article 14(2).
Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 14 (1) and 14 (2) authored by Secretariat on 19/12/2016
The Secretariat received a response from the concerned government Party and began considering whether to recommend a factual record.
Party Response - Response from the Party under Article 14 (3) authored by Mexico on 13/02/2017
Acknowledgement - Other document authored by Secretariat on 14/02/2017
Other Documents - Other document authored by Secretariat on 14/02/2017
The Secretariat determined not to recommend the preparation of a factual record. Under guideline 9.6, the process was terminated.
Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 15 (1) authored by Secretariat on 14/07/2017